Bitter Side of Sweet – book review

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan Realistic Fiction Suspense Thriller * * * * Stars (Great!) Amadou and his younger brother Seydou have been tricked into working on a small, remote, cacao plantation in the Ivory Coast.  They are far away from their home in Mali, which they left 2 years ago in order to find work and make money to send back home.  This “job,” however, doesn’t pay, and the brothers, along … Read more

Ms Marvel comics – book review

Ms. Marvel comics written by G. Willow Wilson illustrated by Mirka Andolfo, Takeshi Miyazawa, & Francesco Gaston Comics Funny Supernatural * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) If you aren’t already reading Ms. Marvel, you should drop everything now and start.  She’s a smart, funny, Muslim teenager who develops superpowers and must choose how to use them responsibly while maintaining her friendships and being part of her close-knit family.  There are lots of timely topics … Read more

Hate U Give – book review

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Realistic Fiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) Starr Carter (16, black) lives in the neighborhood and works at her father’s store, but attends a mostly white school.  She feels like she is two different people in each of these worlds and that she doesn’t quite fit in anywhere.  When her friend, Kenya (sister of her half-brother Seven), invites her to a party in the neighborhood, Starr … Read more

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur – book review

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1: BFF written by Amy Reeder & Brandon Montclare art by Natacha Bustos Comics/Graphic Novel Science Fiction Supernatural * * * * Stars (Great!) 9-year-old Lunella (Moon Girl) is frantically searching for the Omni-Wave Projector so that she can use it to reverse engineer a cure for humans who have been affected by the Terrigen cloud (those who have inhuman genes that change when exposed to this chemical). She’s … Read more

Everything, Everything – book review

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon Books-into-Movies Realistic Fiction Romance * * * Stars (Pretty good) Japanese-African American teen Madeline Whittier has been confined to her house in a controlled, sterile environment for as long as she can remember due to SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency).  “Basically,” she writes, “I’m allergic to the world.”  She’s surprisingly well-adjusted, however, and has good relationships with her nurse, Carla, and her mom, and loves her online/homeschool classes.  When new neighbors … Read more

Sun Is Also a Star – book review

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon Realistic Fiction Romance * * * * Stars (Great!) Natasha, an undocumented immigrant from Jamaica (now living in New York), is about to be deported thanks to her father who, after getting pulled over, announced to the police that he wasn’t even a citizen. This is her last day in the United States and her last opportunity to find a way to stay. While she’s fighting … Read more

Vegan Virgin Valentine – book review

Vegan Virgin Valentine by Carolyn Mackler Realistic Fiction Romance * * * * Stars (Great!) Mara Valentine is a model student and daughter and has her whole future mapped out for her when her “niece” V comes to live with her. V is almost the same age, and is wilder, freer, and more spontaneous than Mara could ever hope to be. And she’ll be attending the same high school. And Mara’s parents want Mara to … Read more

Scythe – book review

Scythe by Neal Shusterman Dystopian Science Fiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) In the future, humans have given over the governing and control of society to an artificial intelligence known as the Thunderhead (which evolved from the Cloud/data storage). “…[T]he Thunderhead was incorruptible. Not only that, but its algorithms were built on the full sum of human knowledge. All the time and money wasted on political posturing, the lives lost in wars, the … Read more

Smell of Other People’s Houses – book review

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock Historical Fiction Realistic Fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Told from the points of view of four different teenagers growing up in Alaska in the 1970s, this takes a look at what it’s like for Ruth, who is unknowingly following in the footsteps of her ancestors (and ends up in a nunnery), Alyce, who desperately wants to become a professional dancer, but has to work … Read more

Nerve – book review

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan Suspense Thriller * * * Stars (Pretty good) Vee is used to being overshadowed by her best friend who gets starring roles in theatrical productions while Vee works on makeup and costuming behind the scenes.But when the guy she likes dares her to shine by auditioning for the reality show, Nerve, Vee decides to take a chance. All she has to do is get filmed while completing a dare. It’s not … Read more